Silvana Tenreyro's picture
Affiliation: 
London School of Economics

Voting history

Are academic economists ‘in touch’ with voters and politicians?

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Question 6: Economists did not explain the reasons for this consensus in sufficiently clear language.

Do you agree this was an important reason for a majority of UK voters going against the near unanimous advice of the economics profession?

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Answer:
Neither agree nor disagree
Confidence level:
Not confident

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Question 5: Voters think that the preferences of economists do not align with their own preferences. (This includes the possibility that they thought that the predicted negative economic consequences would not affect them personally).

Do you agree this was an important reason for a majority of UK voters going against the near unanimous advice of the economics profession?

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Answer:
Agree
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
Most economists benefited from technology and globalization!

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Question 4: Voters did not believe the economic arguments put forward (for example, because they thought the arguments put forward by macroeconomists with dissenting views made more sense or because voters have little faith in economists in general).

Do you agree that this was an important reason for a majority of UK voters going against the near unanimous advice of the economics profession?

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Answer:
Neither agree nor disagree
Confidence level:
Confident

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Question 3: Voters chose to leave the EU for non-economic reasons.

Do you agree that this was an important reason for a majority of UK voters going against the near unanimous advice of the economics profession?

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Answer:
Agree
Confidence level:
Confident

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Question 2: What do you think is the most likely reason that a majority of UK voters went against the near unanimous advice of the economics profession?

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Answer:
No opinion
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
The causes were multiple. Immigration certainly played a role in the exit vote, and many voters (partly encouraged by misleading politicians) thought immigration was to be blamed for their problems, while those problems are more complex and date longer. Skill-biased technological progress, globalization, and the fall of unions have created winners and losers, and the latter have not been compensated for their losses. They saw their standards of living deteriorate since the late 1970s, while at the same time salaries at the top of the distribution rocketed. Inequality is a critical issue in the UK and the West that needs to be addressed. Brexit was mostly an angry vote against the lack of progress of the bottom half.

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